Home Blog How MrBeast Broke His Own YouTube Record With Yacht Video – TIME

How MrBeast Broke His Own YouTube Record With Yacht Video – TIME

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YouTuber Jimmy Donaldson, known to most as MrBeast, recently uploaded a new video that racked up 47 million views in 24 hours to become the second most watched non-music YouTube video within that time frame. In the video, titled “$1 vs $1,000,000,000 Yacht,” the 25-year-old compares a sinking boat worth one dollar to various luxury boats and a billion-dollar yacht. It also features surprise celebrity appearances from comedian Pete Davidson and recently retired NFL quarterback Tom Brady.
MrBeast, the third most subscribed YouTuber, who is known for his generous giveaways, tweeted the news of his second ranking on June 11. The only video that ranks higher is The Guardian’s Will Smith and Chris Rock Oscars slap snafu video, which had 50 million views in its first day last year. MrBeast actually bumped his own video out of second place: Prior to the yacht video, his video recreation of the popular Netflix series Squid Game held the second position. His latest video beat the Squid Game one, which currently has 438 million views and is his most viewed video, by 5 million views within the 24-hour timeframe.
The 15-minute video features MrBeast showcasing seven different boats, ranging from $1 (which sinks within the first few minutes of the video); to a $300 million boat that contains luxurious furniture, a movie theater, and helipad landing onboard; to a $1 billion cruise liner that holds “a floating city.” Viewers witness MrBeast peruse the exclusive sites alongside a handful of his crew members, and toward the end of the video with a handful of lucky subscribers.
If you’re new to the world of MrBeast, it might not immediately compute why a video about yachts would be such an immediate hit on the platform.
“What Jimmy has done here is take a luxury lifestyle item like a yacht or a cruise, something that the average American has aspirations for, and he’s able to contextualize them in a very fun and silly way,” says Jack Appleby, the creator of Future Social, a newsletter teaching social strategy to over 45,000 marketers.
You don’t get nearly 50 million views within 24 hours by chance. This video was so successful, Appleby tells TIME, because of the strong digital strategy of the YouTuber, who uploaded his first video as a tween in 2012 and became widely popular in 2017. “This is a guy who has meticulously studied YouTube content for a decade now and understands what we want to see.” Like the rest of MrBeast’s successful videos, this one includes helpful YouTube video elements: an eye-grabbing thumbnail, a catchy title, helpful subtitles, as well as graphics, video hooks, and transitions that keep viewers engaged. Appleby believes this video’s billion-dollar boat price tag and surprise celebrity appearances make it “way over the top compared to his other videos.”
And he isn’t simply showcasing the luxury items, like other successful formats have done (see, for example, mega YouTuber Casey Neistat, whose most viewed YouTube videos features him vlogging his experience on the world’s most expensive plane rides). In fact, it isn’t until the last three minutes of the video that he tours the billion-dollar yacht, after the majority of the video has been spent on showing cheaper boats and random anecdotes with his friends as they explore all the boats have to offer. “He uses constant tactics to keep you engaged,” says Appleby. “In this video, he used screen watermarks that remind you which boat you’re looking at and what you have to look forward to in the video.”
Another significant element of the new video are the cameos. MrBeast doesn’t often have celebrities in his videos, and despite not advertising them in the video thumbnail or title, the inclusion of Davidson and Brady as surprise guests works to broaden his reach to the sports and comedy fandoms. “I think it’s the nicest boat in the world,” said Brady in the video of the $300 million offering. Brady also says in the video that his children won’t stop eating MrBeast’s chocolate line Feastibles, serving as an endorsement of MrBeast’s other entrepreneurial efforts. His videos are largely successful with the children and teen demo groups.
It was clear even before his latest video that MrBeast is in a league of his own, with his biggest competition being himself. “The snowball effect is going to be larger and larger,” says Appleby of MrBeast’s future successes. “I think we’re at the beginning of how big this guy’s gonna be.”
Write to Mariah Espada at mariah.espada@time.com.

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